Shamatha meditation weekends at Thosamling

Retreat environment and conduct in a Buddhist nunnery

Having the interest and wish to join a 3 day meditation retreat is a unique and precious opportunity. It is seldom that we have the time/wish/ ability to step away from our very busy daily life and make time to withdraw inwardly and learn to observe our own mind.

Thosamling Nunnery and institute for International Buddhist women is aiming at providing our course participants with a peaceful, conducive environment to support their practice of study, meditation and reflection during the course.

Thosamling was created to provide a home for non Tibetan Buddhist nuns. A place where the nuns can study, practice and live in a monastic community.

As part of Thosamling’s mission to support the existing nun’s community , Thosamling also offers retreat facilities to Buddhist women who wish to come to the nunnery for their own personal retreats.

By doing so Thosamling provides women from all over the world an environment of peace and support for their practice. in return the lay women staying, (retreating) at Thosamling help support the nunnery and the nuns community.

As Thosamling is a Buddhist Nunnery all residents adhere to the five Buddhist lay vows of behavior:

• No killing (try to be mindful, not to harm any living creature)
• No stealing (not taking anything that was not offered to you)
• No lying (being in silence is of great help in that )
• No sexual misconduct (being a nunnery, it is a celibate environment)
• No intoxicants (no alcohol/drugs/cigarettes)
• We also request our guests to refrain from listening to music/playing music while they are in the nunnery.

These rules are based on the principles of moral behavior – setting a foundation needed to start your practice of meditation – therefore we ask all those staying at Thosamling to respect these rules of conduct.

We also ask our guests to dress appropriately to a monastic environment.

Please refrain from tank tops, shorts (shorter than knee length) and any items of clothing that might be distracting or offensive to the community around you.

The shamatha weekend courses are in SILENCE (outside the guided meditation sessions). The silence is extremely important both to the course participants and to the residents of Thosamling

Being in silence allows us to calm our mind and creates (with time) more speciousness in one’s mind. If it is your first time doing a silent retreat – embrace this experience, and use these rare 3 days of not talking to direct your attention and energy inwardly instead of outwardly.

During the weekend courses the WHOLE of Thosamling embraces the silence – by doing so we encourage and support both our course participants in their meditation efforts, as well as, our retreatants who benefit directly from the silence.

During the 3 day weekend course we ask our course participants to deposit their:
• mobile phones
• lap tops
• tablets
In the office at check-in.

As you can probably imagine having your phone (especially smart phones) / computer/ tablet with you will distract your attention from the practice and draw your attention to the affairs of the outside world. These distractions will undermine your efforts to meditate and calm your mind.
In addition having phones ringing while in a meditation course causes disturbance to your fellow course participants and disrupts their practice.
So please make all the calls you need before starting the course- inform your family/loved ones/friends of your plan to do a 3 day silent retreat, during that time you will not be reachable by phone/email/FB etc.. (in case of emergency – they can call the Thosamling office)
And one last thing – shamatha meditation although is not a complicated practice, requires work and patience. So please make use of your time with us in the course, attend all classes and do the practice.

At times different emotions will arise (anything from happiness and joy to boredom, pain or strong negative emotions) , that is part of the practice, try to stay flexible and open to your own experience and others , put a smile on your face and enjoy the ride.

For more information and registration please email us to : thosamling@gmail.com

 

 

Thosamling Nunnery, Institute and Retreat Center.